This Matters To Us All

When injustice happens to one person, it matters to us all.
So says the international human rights group, Amnesty International.* Thus people all over the world are urged to note the predicament of Willie Jerome Manning, whose two cases both feature in Amnesty International’s recent report about global death sentences and executions in 2015.

In a section about exonerations in the USA, the report refers to Willie’s exoneration in his 1993 case:
“On 12 February [2015] the Mississippi Supreme Court granted a retrial to Willie Manning, after it ruled that the prosecution did not disclose key evidence that could have invalidated a witness’ testimony and proved his innocence. The prosecution dropped charges against him on 21 April.”  (pp 23 – 24)

Willie’s unconnected 1992 case is also mentioned:
“Willie Manning came close to execution in 2013 in relation to another murder conviction, for which he remained on death row at the end of 2015. The 2013 stay of execution was granted after the US Department of Justice reviewed forensic evidence against him and found it flawed.” (p. 24)

As Willie waits for the results of DNA testing related to this second conviction, it is heartening to know that throughout the world Amnesty members and supporters know about Willie and are thinking of him.  We trust they will not have long to wait before he is finally free.

*The Amnesty report also notes the USA’s position as a global outlier in retaining the death penalty and in contravening international law and standards:
“169 (88%) of the 193 member states of the UN were execution-free in 2015.” p.10
The USA was reviewed under the UPR [Universal Periodic Review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States] on 11 May [2015]. The USA did not accept recommendations to establish a national moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.” p. 25
“The USA continued to use the death penalty in ways that contravene international law and standards, including on people with mental and intellectual disabilities.” p. 21
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